Pollution has become a global cause for concern as it has long-lasting effects on the environment, people, and the ecosystem. This, in turn, predominantly affects the tourism of a state, country, or region. Europe’s air quality has improved significantly over recent decades; however, pollutants still harm their health and environment. The glorious castles in Europe contribute to a significant part of its tourism spots, which would indirectly be impacted due to an increase in pollution. The global zero action plan ambition for Europe announced in the European Green Deal is a key to stopping pollution. It is a factor of the European Commission’s strategy to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda.
Objectives of Zero Pollution Action Plan
The main objective of plan zero is to protect people and ecosystems by better monitoring, reporting, preventing, and remedying pollution. The zero-pollution ambition can help the European Union (EU) further break up prosperity from harmful pollution levels while enhancing EU resilience and strategic autonomy. It can also support a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery by helping to mainstream the zero-pollution ambition in recovery efforts. It can also promote adequate and timely information on the health and economic benefits of taking action on pollution. It will pave the way to explore further development of business practices that reduce pollution, create job opportunities, and in the long run, reduce social inequalities. As pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people, the poor.
The zero pollution or the global zero action plan vision for 2050 is for air, soil, and water pollution to be reduced to levels that are no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems. The levels have to adhere to the boundaries to which our planet can cope, thereby creating a toxic-free environment.
To guide the EU toward the 2050 aim of a sustainable world for healthy citizens, plan zero establishes crucial 2030 goals for reducing emissions at the source of the current situation. It would help speed up the process of reducing pollution in the region. These targets include:
- To improve the air quality to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55%.
- To improve the water quality by reducing waste and plastic litter at sea (by 50%) and reducing microplastics released into the environment (by 30%).
- To increase the soil quality by cutting nutrient losses and chemical pesticide usage by half.
- To reduce EU habitats where air pollution threatens biodiversity by 25%.
- To reduce the share of people who are chronically disturbed by transport noise by 30%.
- To significantly reduce waste generation and residual municipal waste by 50%.
The global zero action plan aims to strengthen the EU’s green, digital and economic leadership while developing a healthier, socially fairer Europe and planet. It provides a compass to mainstream pollution prevention in all relevant EU policies, to step up implementation of the applicable EU legislation, and identify possible gaps.
Timeline, Goal by 2050
The timeline of previous plan zero actions are:
11 December 2019- The Presentation of the European Green Deal
1 October 2020- Presentation of zero pollution action plan roadmap
14 October 2020- Presentation of chemicals strategy
11 November 2020- Launch of zero pollution action plan public consultation
10 February 2021- Stakeholder workshop on the zero pollution action plan
12 May 2021- Commission adoption of zero pollution action plan
31 May to 4 June 2021- EU Green Week 2021 on the theme of zero pollution
4 June 2021- Launch of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform
7 October 2021- Launch of the call for expression of interest for the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform
3 November 2021- Deadline for the call for expression of interest
16 December 2021- First meeting of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform
The global zero action plan aims to strengthen the EU’s green, digital and economic leadership while developing a healthier, socially fairer Europe and planet. It provides a road map to mainstream pollution prevention in all relevant policies of the EU, to step up implementation of the applicable EU legislation, and identify possible gaps.
European and national policies and actions have been able to curb pollution from the transport, industry, and energy sector. Local, regional, national, and EU-level actions and policies with binding targets have significantly improved air quality in Europe for the benefit of its citizens and the environment. More and more people across the globe are demanding similar progress. The global zero action plan has also been attracting tourists from all over the globe to visit Europe and experience the change for themselves.